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Breath is the Place to Start
The first and last things we do in this physical lifetime are to take a breath. Along with oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide, the breath contains prana, the life force. We are regularly taught we can’t live without oxygen; it is also true we can’t live without prana, the vital force that energizes the mind, body, and consciousness.
Principles to Remember:
- Your rate of breathing and your state of mind are inseparable.
- The slower your rate of breathing, the more control you have over your mind.
- The mind follows the breath, and the body follows the mind.
The breath is a fundamental tool for the Kundalini Yoga student.The average rate of breathing for most people is about sixteen times per minute. When the rate of breathing increases, or if it becomes rapid and irregular, the mind also becomes disturbed and erratic.
Breath and Mind Connection
Why or how does the breath control the mind? When your mind is calm, meditative, and under your control, your rate of breathing will be slow, steady, and calm. By breathing slowly and steadily you will calm your mind. As you change your rate of breathing, you change your state of mind.
Of all the positive changes a person can make, learning to breath deeply and completely is probably the most effective tool for developing higher consciousness and for increasing health, vitality, and connectedness in one’s life.
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- Pranayam—the Art of Self-Management: Meditation for Increased Energy and Meditation to Prevent Burnout
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